Lay people taking private vows of celibacy?
#1
Just curious as to why someone would do this, rather than entering a religious order? Does this mean that singleness is a vocation if the person vows themselves to it?
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#2
The process to become a layperson is more complexe and it requires a discerning period. And they are normaly part of a larger community, some can live together.
See here for an example : https://english.clonline.org/archive/alt...res-domini

I know a few of them and they are amazing, living their life - working and volunteering - with us.
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#3
It could also be that some of them have gone through a process of formation and discernment and have been rejected for religious life.
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#4
Firstly, it is worth noting that all religious (who are not also ordained clergy) are laity. So there are plenty of nuns and monks who have taken a perpetual vow of chastity (which is the equivalent of a vow of celibacy). I think, however the OP means by "laity" to exclude those who are not members of a religious congregation, but who are lay folks in the world without some benefit of a religious congregations rule.

This was and has been done, however, in the last millenium it has been somewhat rare. It is not rare enough that someone would make a vow not to marry, since it is dealt with in every manual of moral theology and sacramental manual when dealing with marriage and such a vow, so it must have happened and not so infrequent to be relegated to experts, but it certainly was not something that was every done very publicly or a matter that was publicized. It was a matter of private vows made under careful direction and dsicerment.

Vows are meant to be promises which bind under pain of venial or grave sin which make certain actions not only virtuous because of the virtue to which they correspond, but also acts of the virtue of religion. Thus, a vow of chastity makes being chaste not only an act of the virtue of chastity, but also an act of the virtue of religion. Vows give added value to an action, and so added grace to keep the vow, and merit when it is done well. Likewise, they also mean violation is an added sin against religion, and so a sacrilege. Thus one who is vowed to chastity, and fails gravely in this (even by an intentional impure thought), commits not only a mortal sin of impurity, but also a mortal sin of sacrilege.

This is why, just like with religious vows, there must be a lengthy, careful, and consistently planned/monitored discernment process. A well-formed and well-educated priest who is a spiritual director is absolutely necessary. He must give his consent before one could take such a vow, even temporarily. Otherwise, it would be a rash vow.

Vows also, as has been seen by the wisdom of the Church in her laws on religious congregations, ought to first be tried by promises only (without a true vow), and then on a temporary basis for a period of months or a year, so one's ability to keep these can be proven, before making any kind of perpetual vow. Each of these steps needs careful oversight from a spiritual director.

While such things did happen for faithful who were not joining religious congregations, the Church, in her Wisdom, generally discourages people from making up their own rule of life through such vows. She much prefers that, instead, they join a religious community, because this would not only allow them to make such vows, but also allow them to have a supportive rule and others for keeping them, as well as a superior who could supervise and help protect such a person.

So, in short, yes, it is possible, and there might be a reason for it, but generally that will be known only to a director and the soul making such a vow.
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#5
I would imagine that it's a coping mechanism for losers such as male autistic virgins or cat women/used-up sluts, both of whom are unable to attract a spouse and who are too selfish to actually become part of a Holy Order.
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#6
(09-21-2020, 03:22 AM)Bombero Wrote: I would imagine that it's a coping mechanism for losers such as male autistic virgins or cat women/used-up sluts, both of whom are unable to attract a spouse and who are too selfish to actually become part of a Holy Order.
 
There are tons of reasons for single people to not join religious orders. Debt, illness, sleep disorders, no good fit personality-wise, mental issues, emotional issues, no traditional orders around to join, family obligations, etc. The idea that one has to either be married or be a priest/religious is toxic, and the idea that if one isn't one or the other then s/he is "selfish" is silly and lacks imagination.

And male virgins aren't necessarily autistic, nor are they losers; virginity is to be prized in both sexes. Neither are the autistic losers.
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#7
Quote:I would imagine that it's a coping mechanism for losers such as male autistic virgins or cat women/used-up sluts, both of whom are unable to attract a spouse and who are too selfish to actually become part of a Holy Order.
This wording is a bit harsh.  male celibacy requires more guts than riding a bull on steroids!
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